Six-Figure Fine for Avoidable Deaths in Stafford Hospitals

Posted on: December 19th, 2015 by Editor


The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has been issued a fine of £500,000 for medical negligence that resulted in four avoidable deaths of four of their patients.

An investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into four deaths that occurred at Stafford Hospital which were believed to be caused by medical negligence at the facility. The investigation concluded that three of the deaths were due to hospital faults, and a fourth was because the patient was administered a medication that she was allergic to, after which charges were brought against the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.


In November of this year, the NHS Trust at fault plead guilty to “very significant failings” at the Stafford Magistrates’ Court, after which the case was sent for sentencing the Stafford Crown Court. During the hearing, evidence was given that three of the charges pertained to failures by the hospital to carry out adequate risk assessments and control measures to protect patients against falls.


Mr Justice Hadden-Cave, at the Stafford Crown Court – who had previously fined the NHS Trust £200,000 for previous failings relation to a patient’s death in 2007 – heard testimonies from relatives of the four victims. Huge Haddon-Cave said that the lack of a robust management system in the NHS Trust was largely to blame for the deaths.

The judge commented after sentencing that: “I hope today brings some closure and finally draws a line under the past, and that Stafford and Cannock Hospitals can open a new and bright chapter and become the hospitals that their dedicated staff and local communities can once again be proud of.”

However, the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust has stopped operating. As such, the £500,000 fine issued by Mr Justice Hadden-Cave will be paid by the Secretary of State for Health, who will also be liable for payment of the £35,517 that it cost to bring the Trust to court.


HSE Inspector Wayne Owen issued a statement on behalf of the families of the victims, who acknowledged the NHS’s apology.


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